In Dark Money, Jane Mayer’s book published today, the New Yorkerjournalist reports that the Koch family patriarch Fred Koch built an oil refinery
for the Third Reich that was used to fuel Nazi warplanes. That looks pretty bad for the political mega-donors.
You know what else looks bad? Financing the publication of Holocaust denial literature over the course of several decades. Which is exactly what Charles Koch did between the 1960s and the 1980s.
The Koch brothers, David and Charles, plan to donate
$900 million to presidential campaigns in 2016, as much money as each major party, so the origins and past uses of their family fortune have some heavy political implications.
To be fair, there’s no solid evidence that the Koch brothers themselves are secret neo-Nazis. In fact, there are major ideological differences between the Kochs’ libertarian politics and the Third Reich’s — on the most basic level, dictatorship doesn’t really square with limited government. But the Koch family has a history of patronizing Nazi sympathizers, starting with Fred Koch in the 1930s.
The Koch family in 1950, from left: Charles, David, Fred, Mary, Bill, Frederick © Special Collections and University Archives, Wichita State University Libraries
Fred wasn’t only a Nazi business partner or profiteer. He was also an admirer of the Axis powers. His biographer David Schulman notes
that he “saw something laudable in the rise of fascism.” His private letters
indicate that he was impressed with Hitler’s Germany.
In addition to his dealings with Hitler, Fred Koch also did business
with Stalin. He came away from that experience a staunch anti-communist
. In 1958, he even co-founded the radical right-wing John Birch Society, a charming bunch of paranoiacs who believe the strings of internationalist politics are being pulled
by a “one-world socialist government.”
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Jan 19, 2016 — But the Koch family has a history of patronizing Nazi sympathizers, ... awakening under the tutelage of libertarian theorist Robert LeFevre.